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If you’re like most teens, a lot of the decisions you make with your money each day probably come back to the same question:


How do you make the most of what you have?

cash

The answer is simple. You can master your money by avoiding some common, costly traps and building some new habits.

Do you tend to carry cash for your purchases?


Maybe use a prepaid card instead. It will be easier to track and if you lose your wallet on the way to the store, it will be easier to replace as well.

prepaid card

The rise of technology has made money management even easier.


From mobile payments to electronic banking, anyone can make the most of their money. Including you.

phone with login screen

See for yourself with this short interactive game we like to call “Money Matters.”

Based on your goal and the amount you hope to save each week, you will reach your goal in ## weeks!

Practice Question

It’s good to save as much as you can, but be realistic.


Even when saving for a goal, unexpected purchases and emergencies may come up…

Practice Question *

Oh no, your backpack ripped.


You’ll need to spend $40 on a new one. How will you pay for it?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

backpack

Turns out you don’t have enough!


It’s easy to lose track of small purchases and overspend when you use cash.

cash

Great job!


You had enough to cover it. Prepaid cards let you store your money so you can pay for things in the moment you need it.

prepaid card

Practice Question *

You forgot, it’s your turn to buy the snacks for science club.


Those will run you $20. How will you be paying?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

Turns out you don’t have enough!


It’s easy to lose track of small purchases and overspend when you use cash.

cash

Great job!


You had enough to cover it. Prepaid cards let you store your money so you can pay for things in the moment you need it.

prepaid card

Payday!


You’re on your way to your goal. Look at your savings grow!

payday

Oh no! You got home and your wallet is missing!


Lucky for you all your money was on a prepaid card, so it’s protected. Better call the card and have it frozen so you won’t lose any of your money.

wallet

Managing money isn’t always easy, and some choices can cost you.


Planning is key! How do you make sure you have enough when emergencies come up? Budgets help you plan. Let’s try it out!

Make A Budget

You can only save if you plan your spending.


Choose the numbers to indicate how much you will spend on these items each week. Do you have as much left over as you thought?

Weekly Income

$100

Savings Goal

$100


Weekly Savings

$100

Based on your goal, earnings, and the amount you plan to spend each week you will reach your goal in ## weeks!


A budget can help you plan and stay in control of your money and goals. But unplanned fees from ATM’s, check cashing, and a checking account may impact your budget as well. Based on your budget, will you save enough to reach your goal in time?

Even when you make a budget, it can be hard to say no when fun things come up. What fun thing will you be doing this weekend?

Practice Question *

Your friend has an extra ticket to a game and it’s free. Let’s go!


The game was free, but the food is not. You didn’t budget for this. Still, what do you buy?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

pretzel

A person’s gotta eat!


It may set you back, but you’ve got enough. Which line will you stand in?

Hope it’s worth it.


Your goal just become a little harder to reach. Which line will you stand in?

That line sure went fast.


Now back to the game!

prepaid card

The line to use cash is twice as long.


While standing in line, you miss the best play of the game.

cash

Smart choice!


You’re on track to reaching your goal.

A friend you haven’t hung out with in a while asks you to go to the movies.


That’ll be $10. It’s in your budget, but how do you decide if you can go?

movies

Practice Question *

According to your app, you have enough in your account.


How will you pay?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

You don’t have enough cash.

empty wallet

Risky choice.


The ATM at the mall will charge you to take cash out.

ATM

Smart choice!


Spending time with your friend doesn’t have to mean spending money. You’re closer to reaching your goal.

Smart choice.


Electronic accounts are easy, fast, and safe.

phone with payment

Payday!


You’re on your way to your goal. Look at your savings grow!

payday

That extra cash you had in your pocket got lost in the wash.


If had used a card, you’d still have that money.

pocket

Set A Goal

One of the best things about money is what we can buy with it!


Do you want to buy something big or something small? The bigger the price tag, the longer it may take to save enough. What do you want to buy?

A phone is a pretty big purchase!


Let’s see how long it will take.

Phone

$500

phone

A new pair of sneakers can be pretty expensive.


Let’s see how long it will take.

Sneakers

$190

sneakers

The price of a concert ticket may be less, but you’ll need the money soon before the tickets are gone.


Let’s see if you can do it.

Concert Ticket

$80

tickets

It can be hard to not spend money when you’re with friends.


If you can’t save enough, another way to reach a goal is by borrowing money for big purchases, but before you borrow, let’s talk about credit scores.

Credit Score

Many adults borrow money to buy things.


An adult can borrow money based on their credit score, a number between 300 and 850. It’s unique to each person and changes over time based on how they manage their money and meet financial obligations. Adjust the options to see how a credit score might be affected by how you manage your money.

Credit Score

650

Paying bills on time and not owing too much can keep your credit score healthy.


You may want to borrow money for large purchases, like a car, but only borrow what you can pay back. Let’s make your car payment!

car keys

Your car payment is due and you also have a date, but you don’t have enough to do both. What will you do?

Risky choice.


It’s good to pay on time, but keeping a high balance on a credit card could hurt you later.

credit card

Risky choice.


Paying bills late could hurt your credit for years to come.

past due bill

Smart choice!


Setting up automatic payments helps you pay bills on time. Better to reschedule your date to protect your credit.

phone with payment

Payday!


You’re on your way to your goal. Look at your savings grow!

payday

Did you know?


Some online accounts let you monitor your credit scores from a phone? It will show the score and give tips on how to improve it! Your cash can’t do that.

phone with credit score

How you manage your credit score matters.


Your credit score will change over time, but you can keep it healthy if you protect it. One way of protecting yourself and your money is by watching for scams and ID theft.

Part of protecting yourself and your money includes avoiding potential scammers and identity thieves. Can you spot the potential scam?

Actually, all of these could potentially be an attempt to scam you.


  1. Never sign in to any account by following a link. Use the companies app or website, and double-check the URL.
  2. Only buy from secure sites, and always log out after so your information isn’t stored for the next person to see.
  3. Be careful and only buy from verified sellers.
  4. Even when we are careful, our card numbers can be written down and used later by people we don’t know.

Even when you’re careful, it’s hard to know if you’re at risk.


And some online deals can save you money. Which of the following deals are real?

Practice Question *

It’s your aunt’s birthday!


You found an online ad for what she wants at half the price. It’s a steal! What will you do?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

50% off coupon

Risky choice.


This was a scam! You are out $30 and you don’t have a gift.

Smart choice!


Turns out that deal was a scam.

Get A Job

To reach your financial goals, you need to make that money!


How will you earn enough to reach your goal?

No matter the size of your goal…


The amount you earn, save, and the choices you make along the way will determine how long it takes to reach your goal.

Babysitting

babysitting

No matter the size of your goal…


The amount you earn, save, and the choices you make along the way will determine how long it takes to reach your goal.

Dog Walking

dog walking

No matter the size of your goal…


The amount you earn, save, and the choices you make along the way will determine how long it takes to reach your goal.

Fast Food

fast food

No matter the size of your goal…


The amount you earn, save, and the choices you make along the way will determine how long it takes to reach your goal.

Grocery Store

grocery store

No matter the size of your goal…


The amount you earn, save, and the choices you make along the way will determine how long it takes to reach your goal.

Lawn Work

lawn work

No matter the size of your goal…


The amount you earn, save, and the choices you make along the way will determine how long it takes to reach your goal.

Retail Store

retail store

Practice Question *

Bonus! Your friend sent you a code for 25% off the price of your goal.


Amazing! All you need to do is fill out a form with your birth date and name. What do you do?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

sign up form

Risky move!


By filling out the form you gave your personal information. Now someone is trying to use your identity.

Smart choice.


The code was an effort to get your personal information and steal your identity.

Practice Question *

On your way to buy a pair of headphones…


You scroll through your feed and notice an ad for 15% off the same headphones, and free shipping when you buy them online. What do you do?

* Don’t worry, this won’t impact your savings or weeks to goal.

headphones

Smart choice!


This was not a scam, and you don’t mind waiting for them to be delivered. You bought what you wanted AND have money left over.

This coupon came from a trustworthy source.


In this case, you would save money buying online.

Payday!


You’re on your way to your goal. Look at your savings grow!

payday

That online scam doesn’t need to cost you after all!


You paid with a card which protects you from fraud, so you can get that money back.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.


Online ads, emails, and texts may look real but do your research. How you protect your identity, credit, and money matters.

When you have enough money to buy your goal, how will you get the best deal?

sneakers tickets phone

Smart choice!


Cards and digital accounts let you make online purchases. Shopping around to compare prices will help you get the best deal, but know who you’re buying from, check reviews, and only buy from sites you can trust.

Risky choice.


That same item may be cheaper online. If you only have cash, you’re spending more for that item than you should.

Managing your money is like any other skill.


The more you practice, the better you’ll get… and the better you get, the more you can do! Let’s see how you did!

Based on how much you’ve earned, saved, and spent you are on track to reach your goal in ### weeks.


Let’s see what kind of money manager you are.

Time To Earn

You can’t spend what you don’t have.


How much do you want to earn each week to reach your goal? Slide the dollar sign to the amount you think you can earn each week.

Earning less each week is ok for small goals. For larger purchases, you need to earn more to reach your goal sooner.
Earning more each week will help you reach your goals faster.
Earning more is great, but make time for school, family, and friends too.

Based on your goal and the amount you plan to earn each week, you will reach your goal in ## weeks!

Being a smart money manager means balancing short-term spending with long-term saving.


How would you rate your money management skills?

Based on your decisions you are experienced.


You’re on your way to developing smart money management skills. You may find it easy to reach small goals, but keep practicing smart habits and you’ll reach those big goals even sooner.

medal - experienced

Based on your decisions you are an expert.


Hey smart spender! You have a good eye for money management. Keep practicing those skills and you’ll be able to save for any goal.

trophy - expert

Based on your decisions you are a rookie.


Looks like you could improve your money management skills. You may find it hard to reach your goals, but now that you know what to look for, you’ll improve in no time.

ribbon - rookie

No matter what level you are, you can always improve your money management skills!


Knowing how to make the most of your money is a skill that you will grow over time as you practice and learn more about these money topics. Let’s see what topics you’re interested in the most.

Who in your life can you ask about using electronic accounts to manage money?

Who in your life can you ask about improving a credit score?

Who in your life can you ask about protecting yourself from scams and ID theft?

Who in your life can you ask about responsible spending?

Looks like you have a plan!


Now that you have more information, try again and see if you can get a better score, or check out the information on the resources page.

Now that you are earning money, how do you want to get paid for your work?

Getting paid in cash may seem nice, but what will you do with all that cash?

cash

It’s smart to look for answers from those you trust before making a decision. Who can you ask for advice?

Risky choice.


The more cash you carry around, the more tempting it can be to use it on small purchases and miss your big savings goal. What if you got paid by check instead?

pocket

Smart choice!


Prepaid cards can help you manage and monitor your money. What if you got paid by check instead?

prepaid card

Most jobs pay by check. What will you do when you get your paycheck?

check

Smart choice!


Avoiding check cashing stores will save you time and money and make it easier to reach your goal. What if you got paid by cash instead?

mobile phone with banking app

Risky choice.


Check cashing stores charge high fees and it takes time out of your day. What if you got paid by cash instead?

check

It’s smart to know your options before you decide. Explore these pros and cons.

Check Cashing
  • High fees and charges
  • Time wasted traveling and waiting in line
  • Easy to misplace paper checks and cash

Electronic Account
  • You keep more of your money
  • You can access easily, from anywhere
  • You can track your deposits and your money is safe

Smart choice!


Avoiding check cashing stores will save you time and money and make it easier to reach your goal. What if you got paid by cash instead?

prepaid card

Payday!


You’re on your way to your goal. Look at your savings grow!

payday

Oh no! Your bag was stolen!


All the cash you earned from work was in your bag, but now it’s gone! Carrying cash is costing you big time!

backpack with cash

Cash may seem easy to use, but it’s also harder to control.


Electronic accounts help you track spending, make payments, and some allow you to deposit a check from your phone. Now that you have some income, let’s see how much you can save!

Time To Save

If it’s a large or short-term goal, you’ll need to save more and spend less.


If it’s a smaller or long-term goal, you can save less and will have more to spend. Based on your earnings each week, how much do you want to save and how much do you want to spend?

Risky choice. Spending more will cause you to save less over time.
Smart choice. Setting high savings goals will remind you to be smart about spending.
Spending $50
Saving $50